• Build Overview

    Brandon Hart07/13/2016 at 02:01 0 comments

    This was a quick project that I thought up the day before. I was out in the backyard encouraging my kids to play on the playset I had recently finished building for them (see below).

    But when I told them to go down the slide they looked fearful and said they didn't want to. Disappointed, I asked them why not? They said because it was too hot. I put my hand on it and immediately pulled it back as if I had just slapped my hand down on a grill. They weren't kidding. According to my IR Thermometer, it was over 161 degrees (see below). And that wasn't even a particularly sunny or hot day, plus it was already 5pm! Well, that just wasn't going to work.

    That night I thought up some elaborate plans involving an underground water storage tank, sump pump, Arduinos, relays, and motion sensors. I was excited to automate the hell out of it. But then I found out that underground water tanks started at $335. That was before all the other stuff. As usual I was trying to over-engineer the solution. Instead, I simplified my thinking.

    The next day I went to my local Ace Hardware and grabbed a bunch of garden hose adapters, then went home and started getting to work. The slide was hollow, so the idea was to fill that cavity with water, thereby cooling it off. The first step was to drill a hole for the the garden hose adapter.

    Next, wrap the adapter with teflon tape and screw it in! Note: brand new threaded brass is sharp. Don't use your bare fingers to screw it in.

    Use a wrench instead. Thanks for the help, Dora!

    Adding a 45 degree adapter and a quick-connect with a shutoff valve makes it convenient to control the water flow from the slide instead of from the spigot!

    Next, the water has to have somewhere to go. So, after detaching the slide from its base I drilled another hole in the bottom of the slide.

    And attached the same teflon-wrapped hose adapter as before (with a wrench this time). Then, to that I attached a 45 degree adapter and a strain relief extension. I then capped it for future use.

    Then, to keep the pressure from building up as water flows in, I added a small air escape hole. Nearly done!

    Now the fun part! Hook the hose up and give it a test!!

    Houston, we've got a problem... Strange, it's almost as if the slide wasn't designed to hold water!

    So, the plan had to be modified a bit. Instead of filling it with cool water, I'll just let cool water run through it. The bottom hose can still be used to moderate the amount of water contained within the slide at any time. With that slight modification, it's a success! Check out the difference!

    So there it is. Thanks for reading through my build log. Have you tried doing something similar? What would you have done differently? Any suggestions for updates I should make?